What’s the Best Stovetop Espresso Maker for Home?

Fed up with French press?  All done with pour over? Searching for a different way to administer your caffeine fix? Why not try a classic, time-honored brewing method for producing a completely different style of coffee? Here are our top picks for the best stovetop espresso maker.

What is a “stovetop espresso maker”?

Stovetop espresso makers – or Moka pots as they are more correctly known – are a traditional method of making coffee that appeared in Italy in the 1930s.

They work by heating water to produce steam, which in turn forces the water up a funnel and through the coffee grounds, resulting in a rich, dark and intense coffee.

Although commonly known as “stovetop espresso makers”, this name is not strictly accurate. While the water is forced through the grounds under pressure, the pressure created is only about 1-2 bar rather than the 9 bar required to make true espresso.

However, the coffee produced this way is still dense and powerful, much like a true espresso (although usually with no crema) and is a delicious way of brewing coffee in its own right.

If you’re not sure how they work or how to use one, check out this video explaining it all.

How to choose a “stovetop espresso maker”

Since the basic principle behind the stovetop espresso maker is always the same, in most cases, there is little difference between one model and another. However, here are some of the most important things you should look out for:

  • Brand

The original Moka pot was invented by Alfonso Bialetti in 1933, and his company still produces them. Coffee pots made by this company are the real deal and have changed very little since they first appeared. However, some other reputable companies now make pots that are just as good.

  • Workmanship

Related to the company that produces the pot, you should look carefully at how well it is made. Many cheaper pots are not made to the same high standard as the best models.

  • Material

The original Moka pots were cast in aluminum but they are now also available in stainless steel. This is mostly a question of personal preference; if you want the most authentic version, choose an aluminum one. Some also believe stainless steel pots can impart a slightly metallic taste.

  • Style and color

The original Moka pot features an unmistakable octagonal design. However, they are now available in other shapes, and it is up to you to choose the one you prefer. The shape has little effect on functionality.

They are now also available in different colors – feel free to pick one that suits your style.

  • Size

Size is an important consideration. For best results, you should always make a full pot. This means if you buy one that is much too big, you will probably end up never using it. If you usually make coffee for yourself alone, choose the smallest model.

  • Stovetop compatibility

One final vital consideration is to make sure the Moka pot you choose will work on your stovetop! Not all pots are suitable for electric hotplates, so check it will work when you get it home before handing over the cash!

7 Best Stovetop Espresso Makers - Reviews of 2018

1. The Original Bialetti Moka Express - 3 Cup Stovetop Coffee Maker

The Original Bialetti Moka Express - 3 Cup Stovetop Coffee Maker with Safety Valve – brews 4.4 ounces

This is the original Moka pot made by the same Italian company that has been producing them since they were first invented back in 1933. It is made of aluminum and features the iconic octagonal design.

This version is the smallest, making around three cups of coffee in under five minutes. It is easy to use, easy to disassemble and easy to clean. It includes a patented safety valve and comes with a two-year warranty. It is now available in a range of funky colors as well as classic aluminum.

What I Like

  • The original and many would stay still the best
  • Perfect for making small quantities of coffee when you don’t want to brew a large jug
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Extremely simple to use
  • Available in several attractive modern colors, including the colors of the Italian flag

What I Didn't Like

  • Too small if you need to make larger quantities of coffee
  • Doesn’t make true espresso – you need to buy an espresso machine for that

Good for

This is the ideal coffee pot for someone who drinks coffee alone or with one other person. It should appeal to people who like old-fashioned simplicity and reliability. It is not the right option if you are looking to make larger quantities of coffee.


2. Bialetti 275-06 Moka Express 6-Cup Espresso Maker

Bialetti 275-06 Moka Express 6-Cup Espresso Maker

This is essentially the same item as the previously reviewed coffee pot but in a larger size. This version is capable of making six cups of stovetop espresso and so is more suitable for medium-sized families who enjoy Moka pot coffee.

It features the same classic design as the smaller version and will add a classy retro look to your kitchen. It is made of aluminum and is extremely easy to use, clean and maintain. Also made by Bialetti, you know this is a brand you can trust and that this pot will last for many years.

What I Like

  • Classic retro Italian look
  • Extremely easy to use, clean and maintain
  • Built to last, this pot it practically indestructible
  • Produces six cups of delicious rich coffee in a matter of minutes
  • Comes with a one-year warranty

What I Didn't Like

  • Medium size not suitable for individuals or larger families
  • Not available in other color options

Good for

This is the ideal Moka pot for people who enjoy simple, old-fashioned coffee and value reliability and durability. This is the perfect size for smaller families, allowing everyone to have a second serving of delicious Moka pot coffee. It is less well suited to individual coffee drinkers or large family groups.


3. Bialetti 06853 Moka Stovetop Coffee Maker, 12-Cup

Bialetti 06853 Moka Stovetop Coffee Maker, 12-Cup, Silver

This is the biggest model in the Bialetti family, making 12 cups of rich, dark moka pot coffee. It has all the benefits of the smaller versions, it just makes more coffee! It features the same high-quality workmanship as the other Bialetti pots and is built to last for many years.

Obviously, since this pot is bigger than the others, it takes slightly more time to brew a full pot – but it is still a quick and efficient way of making rich and aromatic moka pot coffee. A highly reliable coffee maker for those who prefer the simplicity of a bygone age.

What I Like

  • Large size allows you to make coffee for bigger families or for dinner parties
  • Unmistakable classic Bialetti design
  • Tough and rugged, built to last
  • Extremely fast way to make a large pot of coffee
  • Classic retro style will enhance any kitchen, modern or old-fashioned

What I Didn't Like

  • Far too big if you only require small amounts of coffee
  • The biggest version of this pot is also the most expensive

Good for

This is the pot to go for if you prefer the original, authentic Bialetti and also regularly need to make coffee for larger numbers of people. This would be the ideal size for brewing coffee after a dinner party. If you need to make smaller amounts of coffee, you should probably choose a smaller size.


4. Bellemain 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker Moka Pot

Bellemain 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker Moka Pot

If you are interested in looking at other brands other than the original Bialetti, this 6-cup moka pot from Bellemain is worthy of your attention. It is constructed of aluminum to ensure no metal flavor reaches your drink and features a sleek design that is subtly different from the Bialetti versions.

It includes cool handles to ensure you don’t burn your hands and a safety valve to avoid any danger of the pot exploding. It comes with a two-year guarantee, but if you look after it properly, there is no reason why it shouldn’t last a lot longer than that.

What I Like

  • Sleek and stylish design
  • Aluminum construction ensures no metallic taste
  • Ideal size for medium-sized families
  • Safety features include cool handle and safety valve
  • Very reasonable price

What I Didn't Like

  • Too small for big groups but too big for individuals
  • Not the authentic original – for people who care about these things!
  • List Element

Good for

This is a good medium-sized pot ideal for families. It is reasonably priced and is a good alternative for someone who wants to try something other than the original-brand Italian pot. Again, the size is important, and this is not suitable if you need to make either small or large quantities of coffee.


5. bonVIVO Intenca Stovetop Espresso Maker, Italian Espresso Coffee Maker

bonVIVO Intenca Stovetop Espresso Maker, Italian Espresso Coffee Maker, Stainless Steel Espresso Maker Machine For Full Bodied Coffee, Espresso Pot For 5-6 Cups, Moka Pot With Copper Chrome Finish

For those who want something a little different, this stovetop espresso maker from bonVIVO is a real eye-catcher. It features a stylish modern design quite different from the traditional moka pot; it is constructed from stainless steel with an elegant copper-colored finish.

One of the big advantages of this moka pot is that it is compatible with all types of stove; whether you have a gas stove, an electric hob or an induction cooker, you will be able to use this pot to make six cups of delicious steaming moka pot coffee in only a few minutes.

What I Like

  • Stylish eye-catching design, quite different from other models
  • Compatible with all types of stove
  • Simple to use and easy to maintain, only three parts to wash
  • Available with copper finish or all stainless steel
  • Can produce a pot of coffee in only a matter of minutes

What I Didn't Like

  • More expensive than some other comparable models
  • Although a striking item, not everybody will appreciate the look

Good for

This is the perfect choice for someone who likes the idea of making traditional-style moka pot coffee at home but who also wants to make a statement in their kitchen. It’s the perfect size for a medium-sized family – but if you need larger or smaller quantities, perhaps a different size is better.


6. Cuisinox Roma 6-cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Moka Espresso Maker

Cuisinox Roma 6-cup Stainless Steel Stovetop Moka Espresso Maker

A beautiful-looking moka pot from Cuisinox, this model is certainly one that draws attention to itself. It is made entirely from shiny stainless steel and is perfectly crafted into one of the most attractive moka pots around.

It is the right size to make about six cups of moka pot coffee, and it is designed to last a long time. One thing we are concerned about here is the metal handle – you might need to be careful in case it becomes too hot. This model is also one of the most expensive available.

What I Like

  • One of the best-looking moka pots available
  • Made entirely of stainless steel – built to last
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Simple way to make six cups of coffee with minimum of fuss
  • Reliable brand

What I Didn't Like

  • One of the most expensive options
  • Might not appeal to those who prefer the classic look

Good for

This is a moka pot for someone who wants a beautifully-crafted coffee maker for their home. It is the perfect size for making around six cups of stovetop espresso – and it will also attract attention when you place it on the table to serve. Not the best option for someone keen on saving money.


7. Stovetop Espresso Maker - Moka Pot 6 Cups Demitasse Espresso Shot - AMFOCUS

Stovetop Espresso Maker - Moka Pot 6 Cups Demitasse Espresso Shot - Stainless Steel - AMFOCUS

This stovetop espresso maker is a more budget-friendly option. It is made from food-grade stainless steel and features an ergonomic stay-cool handle for ease of use. It has a modern design; some might find the look cute – but others might not be so sure.

It is designed to make six cups of coffee, making it another great choice for medium-sized families. It is compatible with gas stoves but will only work on hotplates of 4” or less, meaning you will need to check your cooker before buying.

What I Like

  • More inexpensive than some other moka pots
  • Original modern design may appeal to some people
  • Easy-to-hold stay-cool handle
  • Makes a good amount of coffee for a medium family
  • Easy to use and easy to clean

What I Didn't Like

  • Not suitable for all stove types
  • Some people might find it looks a little strange

Good for

A good option for someone who wants a reliable but inexpensive stovetop coffee maker for making medium quantities of coffee. Since it does not work well on induction stoves, it is more suited to people who have gas cookers in their homes.


Stovetop coffee pots – classic design and easy to use

Stovetop coffee pots have been with us for almost a century now and they are showing no sign of disappearing. That an item invented in the 1930s is still in common use today, especially when there are now so many other options, speaks volumes for just how perfect the original design was!

My name is Kathy Gallo, Editor of Daily Cupo, a Coffee buff. The guide you find here is designed exactly for you, and it is our hope that you find it not only interesting but also actionable.

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